English Cafe  
            

        英語力と会話力は別ものです、会話のコツをつかんで下さい。毎週参加なさらなくても大丈夫ですよ
        ケーキが好きで英語は少しお喋りできればいいと思われる方には緩めに対応させていただきます
        お暇なときに『お茶しながらくつろいで大人らしい会話を楽しむ場』としてお気軽にご利用くださいませ^^  
  

 火曜日 
午後1時30分~3時30分
 【NHKラジオ英会話】テキストは自主トレに最適、お奨めします
 
役立つ英会話、タイムリーな時事英語、エッセー、歌、など
 異なるタイプの英語を取り上げ、英語力をつけていただきます

 木曜日

 午前10時 ~ 12時     
 火曜日と同じ内容
 
発音矯正、文法復習、瞬発力・即興力を鍛える 
 
大人らしい内容のある洒落た会話を目指しましょう!
 
 金曜日   午前10時 ~ 12時  火曜日と内容は同じですが、英語力に大人の魅力をプラス!
 
自分の考えや意見を整理し順序よく表現する構成力を鍛え、
 相手に理解してもらえる説得力ある英語を目指しましょう!
  
 火曜夜       午後7時半 ~ 9時半  昼間お勤めの方の為の時間帯、通用する英語を鍛えます!
 個人レッスン3000円、グループレッスンは3人で5000円、
 4人目から1人1500円、 初めての方もご遠慮なくどうぞ

         アクセス: JR琵琶湖線「野洲駅」からバスと徒歩で12分
         焼きたてケーキとコーヒーor 紅茶で 1000円  火曜夜のみ料金設定は別です
         単発の<個人 or グループレッスン> ご相談に応じます
                
                                         
                                                                     
                                            

                    心が元気になる英語の言葉

             "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
              
-------
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian polymath, 1452~1519)-----
                      単純であることは、洗練の極みである。
                       

   
               バックナンバーを読みたい方ははここをクリックしてください
            



                


2017年10月18日

ASDF: No report of emergency from chopper crew

The crew members of a missing Japanese Air Self-Defense Force helicopter did not report that there was an emergency when they contacted ground control.

The UH-60 helicopter was conducting a nighttime search-and-rescue drill, when it disappeared from the radar screen on Tuesday evening.

The helicopter was flying over the sea, about 30 kilometers south of the ASDF base in Hamamatsu, which is located in central Japan. It was carrying 4 crewmembers.

The Defense Ministry says it has spotted a door bearing the ASDF letters, a stretcher, and other objects floating in the ocean. The ministry says that the helicopter probably went down.

ASDF officials say the chopper left the Hamamatsu base at 5:51 PM and dropped off the radar 11 minutes later.

They maintain that, when air controllers last contacted the crew, 5 minutes before the disappearance, the crewmembers did not report an emergency.

The Defense Ministry believes the helicopter experienced some kind of difficulty and crashed a short time later.

The search for the missing crewmembers is continuing. The ministry is investigating what happened.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年10月16日

'Flares' from fighter jets alarm residents

The prefectural government of Hiroshima is asking the US military to clarify if some of its fighter jets conducted aerial training maneuvers that released flares above part of the prefecture, alarming local residents.

A number of people in Kitahiroshima Town captured video footage on Wednesday of what appeared to be flares coming from US military aircraft.

One of the residents says 2 aircraft were carrying out training exercises above their town for about 30 minutes. He said he sees fighters flying overhead several times a month, but this is the first time in about 20 years that he's spotted what looks like live flares.

Officials of the prefecture and the town believe the flares may be aerial infrared countermeasures used to distract heat-seeking missiles from the target aircraft.

The officials visited the local bureau of Japan's Defense Ministry in Hiroshima City on Monday and asked the ministry to confirm facts with the US side.

They said the ministry's official replied they are aware of what had been spotted, and have already asked the US military.

The development comes as growing numbers of people in and around Kitahiroshima register complaints about US combat aircraft training at low altitudes.

The prefecture has asked the central government that such US military exercises be suspended.

A prefectural official, Koshi Yamamoto, told NHK that anxiety is spreading among local residents as the exercise was conducted right above where they live.

He said he wants a detailed explanation, especially as this latest incident comes when the US military is moving a carrier air wing from Atsugi in eastern Japan to the Iwakuni air station in a neighboring prefecture.

A Japan Air Self-Defense official says its aircraft normally conduct training that releases flares off the coast to avoid areas where people live.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年10月15日

Kisenosato performs ring-entering ritual in Kyoto

A sumo grand champion, or Yokozuna, has performed a ring-entering ceremony at a UNESCO World Heritage site in Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto.

The event was held at Kamigamo Shrine on Sunday.
Yokozuna Kisenosato performed the ritual in the unryu-style. Spectators cheered as he stamped the ground.

A junior high school student said Kisenosato's performance was very powerful.

A woman in her 60s said she was thrilled to see the Yokozuna and that she was surprised at how big he is.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年10月14日

California wildfires kill 36, cause air pollution

Massive wildfires in the US state of California have killed 36 people. They have also seriously polluted the air.

California State officials say that, since Sunday, fires in the northern part of the state have burned about 90,000 hectares, mainly in the wine-producing counties of Sonoma and Napa.

They say that about 5,700 homes and stores have been destroyed, and that around 90,000 people have been evacuated.

Police in Sonoma County, where 19 deaths have been confirmed, said on Friday that they had not been able to contact many residents. They say officers have been visiting the homes of missing persons.

The US Environmental Protection Agency says its air quality index for San Francisco has worsened since the fires began. The city is about 80 kilometers south of Napa County.

Local media outlets are reporting that the city's air quality is now as bad as in Beijing.

The air pollution has forced the organizers of a half marathon to cancel the event. It was scheduled for Sunday


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年10月13日

Okinawa locals want US to stop using helipads

People living near the site where an American military helicopter made an emergency landing in Okinawa Prefecture will ask authorities to demand the US military stop using helipads situated around their district.

Fourteen representatives of the Takae district in Higashi Village met on Thursday, one day after the incident. They decided to request the Okinawa defense bureau make the demand and offer locals an explanation and apology.

Fire broke out on a CH-53 helicopter based at the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station while it was on a training flight. The chopper made an emergency landing on privately owned grazing land in Takae and burst into flames.

The landing site is about 300 meters from the nearest house and is located close to the US military's Northern Training Area.

Last December, the United States returned around half of the training area to Japanese administration in return for the completion of 6 military helipads that surround the district.

District leader Kumiko Nakamine said she wonders when residents' concerns will be dispelled. She added she will lodge a stronger request than before to prevent any recurrence.


        ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年10月11日

US helicopter on fire in Okinawa

Japanese Defense Ministry officials say they've been notified by the US military that a CH-53 helicopter caught fire after it landed near the US military's Northern Training Area on Okinawa island late Wednesday afternoon.

Local firefighters say they were notified that a US military helicopter had crashed, and black smoke was rising in the Takae district shortly past 5:30 PM.

US military officials say the helicopter was based at the Marine Corps Futenma Air Station. They say no one was injured in the incident, but the helicopter is on fire.

Okinawa prefectural police say there have been no reports of injury.

The CH-53 is a large helicopter used mainly to transport personnel. It crashed on a university campus adjacent to Futenma Air Station in 2004.

Video posted on Twitter shows flames and black smoke rising from the helicopter in a grassy field.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

Early voting starts for Oct. 22 general election

Voters across Japan began casting their ballots on Wednesday in the early voting system for the general election scheduled for October 22nd.

The official campaign for the election kicked off on Tuesday.

At a polling station inside the municipal office of Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture in western Japan, voters were casting their ballots after writing down the reasons why they cannot vote on the voting day.

The upcoming election will be the first held on a nationwide scale since those aged 18 and 19 became eligible to vote. Because of this, polling stations for early voting have been set up inside some universities and high schools.

More than 13 million voters, or about 12.65 percent of the total, cast ballots in early voting in the previous general election in December 2014.

Early voting stations will be open until October 21st, a day before the voting day.

Japanese nationals living abroad have begun voting in the Lower House election.

Ballot stations are set up at 223 locations outside the country, including embassies and consulates.

About 101,000 Japanese are registered to vote overseas.

They can vote in the constituency where they last lived, as well as in the proportional representation segment.

Voting at Japan's embassy in the South Korean capital, Seoul, began on Wednesday morning. About 2,500 Japanese are registered there to vote.

The period of voting varies by region, but all voting ends next Monday.

Embassy officials will bring the ballots back to Japan to be counted on election day, October 22nd.

The election will be contested mainly among 3 camps -- the former ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic and Komeito parties, one comprising the party of Hope and Nippon Ishin Japan Innovation Party, and a camp of the Japanese Communist, the Constitutional Democratic and Social Democratic parties.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・
        
2017年10月10日

Campaigning for Lower House election begins

Political candidates and party officials across Japan are filing paperwork and launching their campaigns for the Lower House election scheduled for October 22nd.

Party candidates and independents are going after the 465 seats in the Lower House.
289 lawmakers will be elected directly and 176 through a system of proportional representation.


The threshold for a majority is 233 seats.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said if his ruling coalition doesn't reach that, he'll step down.

Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito are facing stiff competition from a divided opposition.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has formed a party called Hope which is collaborating with Nippon Ishin.

And another upstart, the Constitutional Democratic Party, is working together with the Japanese Communist Party and Social Democratic Party.

The largest opposition party effectively split.
Most of its members will be running under Hope, the Constitutional Democratic Party, or as independents.

Candidates are debating issues like the performance of the Abe administration, a consumption tax hike the government has scheduled for 2019, and amending the Constitution


     ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年10月8日

Italian city honors Japanese accordionist coba

Japanese accordionist coba has been granted honorary citizenship of an Italian city which produces the majority of that instrument.

Over the last 26 years coba has held concerts in more than 60 countries. He is now a globally famous accordionist.

A ceremony was held on Saturday in the central Italian city of Castelfidardo which is known as the epicenter of the accordion. 95 percent of the instruments used by professional musicians are produced in the city.

About 100 people gathered at the award ceremony to celebrate coba becoming the first Japanese to be given honorary citizenship.

The mayor of Castelfidardo praised the musician for his achievements in promoting the accordion globally.

He received applause when he played his own composition.

A local man said that coba is an extraordinary artist and an ambassador who has spread the beauty of the accordion worldwide.

In the 1970s, coba began to hone his accordion skills in the city as a student. He said that it is extremely exciting that he was recognized in the city where he started his professional career.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年10月5日

Kazuo Ishiguro wins Nobel Prize in Literature

A Japan-born British author has won this year's Nobel Prize in Literature. Kazuo Ishiguro has received wide acclaim for "The Remains of the Day" and other novels.

Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki. His family moved to Britain when he was 5 years old and he later became a British citizen. At university, Ishiguro studied literature and creative writing.

He made his literary debut in 1982 with "A Pale View of Hills," set in Japan after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

"The Remains of the Day" tells the story of an aging British butler recalling the prime of his life and the glory of English gentility before World War II.

His 2005 bestseller, "Never Let Me Go," depicted a group of orphans in an institute raised to become organ donors.

Many of his novels depict characters reflecting on their past and wondering about who they have become.

The Swedish Academy cited Ishiguro for "novels of great emotional force." It said he has "uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world."


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年10月4日

Hope party announces initial list of candidates

The newly formed Hope party has announced its initial list of candidates for the upcoming Lower House elections later this month.

The party, which is headed by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, revealed the list in a news conference on Tuesday.

The list comprises 192 candidates -- 191 in single-seat constituencies and one in the proportional representation section.

These include 110 candidates from the Democratic Party.

Hope party candidates will run in the same constituencies as some Democratic Party senior members.
These include Yukio Edano, who heads a new party called the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and some others that plan to join Edano.

Hope party senior official Masaru Wakasa said more candidates will be announced soon, and that the total will likely exceed 233, which is more than half of the Lower House seats. He said the large number of candidates creates the possibility that the new party could take control of the government.


         ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年10月2日

Edano to form Constitutional Democratic Party

The deputy president of the opposition Democratic Party, Yukio Edano, has announced plans to form a new party.

The move comes after party President Seiji Maehara last week said his party will not field any candidates for the coming election, and instead urged its members to run in a party recently founded by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

Maehara said his party must do whatever is necessary to force the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from power.

But Koike later said her party, named Hope, will only accept Democrats who agree with her views on national security, the Constitution and other major issues.

On Monday, Edano, a high-ranking member of the Democratic Party, said he reached the conclusion that the ideologies and policies of Koike's party differ from those of the Democrats.

Edano said he will launch the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan to safeguard constitutionalism, democracy and a free society.

He added that voters supportive of the Democratic Party have bemoaned the lack of choice in the upcoming snap election after Maehara announced that no candidates from his party would be fielded.

He stressed that he is backed by many people who urged him to create a political option.

On the Lower House election planned for October 22nd, Edano said he wants to make his new party a group that vocally criticizes Abe's handling of political matters and his policies that fail to serve the people's needs.

He also renewed his opposition to amending the Constitution.

Edano expressed confidence that his party will win the backing of the Democratic Party's largest support group, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, as his party is in tandem to Rengo in sharing the viewpoints of ordinary workers and taxpayers.


     ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月28日

Japan's Lower House dissolved

Japan's Lower House of the Diet has been dissolved for a snap election. Japan's Cabinet has set the date for a snap general election on October 22nd. The campaign will begin on October 10th.

On Thursday, the Lower House speaker read the official declaration to dissolve the chamber. Some opposition members boycotted the session, accusing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of avoiding a debate over alleged influence peddling scandals.

After the session, Abe told members of his Liberal Democratic Party to get ready for the election.

Abe says he wants a fresh mandate on how to use the expected revenue from a scheduled consumption tax increase in 2019. He also wants voters to assess how he is handling the growing threat from North Korea.

The leader of the main opposition Democratic Party is considering a possible merger with a new party launched by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. Seiji Maehara is expected to let members run as candidates of Koike's party.

The Tokyo Governor's new party called "Hope" is shaking up the political landscape. In July, Koike's party trounced Abe's Liberal Democratic Party in the Tokyo municipal election. She is now taking that momentum to the national level. But Koike says she is not thinking about a merger with the Democrats.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月27日

Koike vows to reset Japan

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike says her new political party will aim to break from conventional politics and reset Japan.

With a general election looming next month, the governor announced on Monday she will create the new party "Hope", with her allies and become its leader. Along with 14 lawmakers joining, Koike held a news conference on Wednesday.

Koike said she wants to push ahead with politics free of obscure constraints and carry out bold reforms. She said if Japan does not reset itself now, it will not be able to survive international competition or adequately defend itself.

Koike also expressed her intention to stay on as the Tokyo Governor.

As the head of the capital, she said she wants to take the initiative of changing and protecting Japan, and fight in the upcoming Lower House election with this determination.

Koike added she wants to lead preparation efforts for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Koike and her party members then announced their party platform. It says "Hope" will be founded on constitutionalism and democracy, and be a tolerant, conservative-reformist party.

It also says the party will aim to create an inclusive society, against the backdrop of increasing social divide in Japan and across the world.

The platform also says the party will make efforts to fully disclose information to make policy-making processes transparent, and lay out realistic diplomatic and security policies under pacifism.


     ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月25日

Abe announces snap election

Japanese voters will be heading to the polls next month.
The prime minister has announced he'll dissolve the Lower House of the Diet on Thursday for a snap election.

Shinzo Abe says he wants to seek a new mandate for his agenda. It includes a recent decision to modify how to spend the expected increase in revenue from a consumption tax hike.

Abe says "Since I want to change the promise I made to the people, and this is an important decision that affects their lives, I decided I must seek their mandate. I will dissolve the Lower House on the 28th of September."

The long-delayed hike is now scheduled for October 2019. Most of the revenue is earmarked to pay back Japan's ballooning debt. Abe says he wants to divert some of that money to fund childcare and education.

The announcement comes as tensions with North Korea are spiking. The country fired 2 ballistic missiles over northern Japan and carried out a nuclear test over the past month. Some say it's better to avoid political instability in the face of the North's continued threats.

Abe says "Elections are the basis of democracy, and they should not be affected by threats from North Korea.
Rather, I think this is an appropriate time to hold an election and seek the mandate of the people for how I am dealing with North Korea."

Abe vowed to continue applying maximum pressure on the North until the country abandons its missile and nuclear programs in a verifiable and irreversible way.

Critics say the prime minister is using this election to avoid debate about alleged influence-peddling scandals. Abe counters the election is the best platform for debate.

He says "The election is a vote for whether people have confidence in me, in the ruling party members, and in each lawmaker."

Abe says his benchmark for victory is for his Liberal Democratic Party to secure a majority with its coalition partner Komeito.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

Tokyo governor to head new national party

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has announced plans to create a new political party with her allies and become its leader.

Her allies, including Lower House lawmaker Masaru Wakasa and former Environment Minister Goshi Hosono, have been preparing to set up a new party.

The announcement comes as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to dissolve the lower house on Thursday for the purpose of a general election.

On Monday, Koike told reporters that the name of the party will be "Kibou no To," or party of hope.

She described herself as the party's flag-bearer, and stressed that she would be directly involved in the launch process.

As for her current post, Koike said she will continue to serve as Tokyo Governor, and added that she is determined to do a better job.

Seven lawmakers, including Wakasa, met in Tokyo late Sunday to finalize the party platform and policy details.

The group says it will officially announce the launch on Wednesday.


        ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月24日

US bombers fly over waters east of N.Korea

The US Department of Defense says US aircraft have flown over waters east of North Korea in a show of force.

Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said in a statement on Saturday that Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers from Guam, escorted by Air Force F-15C Eagle fighters from Okinawa, Japan, flew in international airspace.

She added that the flight was to the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone any US fighter or bomber aircraft had flown in the 21st century.

White described the mission being a demonstration of the US resolve and a clear message that it has many options to defeat any threat.

President Donald Trump and his senior officials have repeatedly said that the US would resort to a military option should diplomatic efforts fail.

A series of new sanctions have been imposed to cut funds for North Korea's nuclear and missile development.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月23日

Grave visits in full swing

Families in Japan are visiting graves of their loved ones on Saturday, the autumn equinox.

The spring and autumn equinoxes are a national holday and mark the middle of the Buddhist o-higan period, when people pray for their ancestors' souls.

Since early this morning in Kyoto, families visited the Otani-Honbyo cemetery at the temple of Nishi-Honganji. About 13,000 graves stand on a hillside overlooking the ancient capital.

Visitors washed gravestones, laid flowers, burned sticks of incense and joined their palms to pay respects.

An old man said he thanked his ancestors for letting him live for so long.

About 100,000 people are expected to visit the cemetery during the autumn higan period.

At an animal graveyard in Tokyo, around 30 police officers including detectives and dog trainers prayed for the souls of 3 police dogs which died this year.

A senior officer thanked the animals for their help in searching for criminals and missing persons.

        ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月22日

Govt. calls for Diet to convene on Sept. 28th

Japan's government has informed the Diet of its plan to convene an extraordinary session next Thursday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to dissolve the Lower House for a snap general election at the start of the session.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga conveyed the starting date of the Diet to executives of the steering committees of the Upper and Lower houses on Friday.

Members of the largest opposition Democratic Party were absent to protest the planned dissolution.

A member of the Japanese Communist Party told the meeting that opposition parties had asked the government to convene an extraordinary session based on a Constitutional provision.
The lawmaker said dissolving the Lower House without holding any session would violate the Constitution.

In response, Suga quoted the prime minister as saying that he will make a decision after he returns from New York, where he attended the UN General Assembly.

Abe is due to return to Japan on Friday evening. He is expected to hold a news conference on Monday to explain why he wants to call a snap election.

         ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月21日

50 countries, regions sign UN nuclear ban treaty

50 countries and regions have signed a global treaty at UN Headquarters to legally ban nuclear weapons.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stressed the significance of the treaty at the signing ceremony on Wednesday.

Guterres said the treaty is an important step toward the universally held goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, and these doomsday weapons must not be allowed to endanger the world and children's future.

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera, who chaired the talks on the treaty, denounced the nuclear powers for forcing people and the earth to live in fear. He called on nuclear states to join the treaty.

Representatives from 50 countries and regions signed the treaty as of Wednesday evening.

It will enter into force 90 days after 50 countries have ratified it.

The treaty was adopted last July at a UN conference by a vote of 122 in favor. It prohibits a full range of nuclear weapon-related activities, such as undertaking to develop, test, and produce, as well as the use or threat of use of these weapons.

But the treaty was boycotted by nuclear states and countries such as Japan that depend on nuclear weapons for protection.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月19日

Abe arrives in NY for UN Assembly, summit talks

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly and to hold talks with other world leaders.

Abe will speak before the Assembly on Wednesday.

On Thursday, he will meet with US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

During the visit, Abe plans to urge nations to put more pressure on North Korea. The North is continuing to pursue its nuclear and missile development programs despite international criticism.

Representatives from 193 UN member states will state their positions on various international issues this week.

On Tuesday, Trump will speak before the UN Assembly for the first time.

One question is whether he will state a willingness to cooperate with other countries when dealing with global challenges, such as the fight against global warming, as well as the protection of refugees and migrants.

The US government has officially informed the UN that it will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. Trump is also calling for tighter controls on immigration.


North Korea is expected to be high on the agenda at the General Assembly. Foreign Ministers of the Security Council member states are expected to sit down to discuss the issue.


     ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月16日

Robotic suit to help elderly stand up and sit down

Engineers at a Japanese venture firm say they have developed a robotic suit that makes it easier for the wearer to stand up and sit down.

The product, which is designed to be worn around the hips, detects electrical signals from the brain and activates a motor to support the wearer's movements. It was created by Cyberdyne, a company based in Tsukuba City, near Tokyo.

The government approved the firm's previous robotic suit model as medical equipment because it might help improve the walking capabilities of people afflicted with illness.

Engineers at the firm say their latest model weighs 3 kilograms, less than one-fourth of the previous robotic suit.

They also decreased the number of electrodes used to detect electrical signals from eight to one, which makes it easier to wear.

The firm plans to start selling the product to daycare facilities next month to assist the elderly and others with weakened muscles.

Ikuo Kudo of the firm said he hopes the device will come into wide use as it can ease the burden on caregivers.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月15日

N. Korea missile lands in Pacific Ocean

The Japanese government says a ballistic missile launched from North Korea has flown over northern Japan and fallen into the Pacific Ocean 2,000 kilometers east of Hokkaido at around 7:16 AM local time.

Japanese officials say the missile was fired at around 6:57 AM from Sunan, near Pyongyang. The missile likely reached an altitude of 750 kilometers and flew 3,700 kilometers.

Japan's foreign minister says judging from its range, it is likely an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The government's top spokesperson says no debris has fallen in Japanese territory, adding that no aircraft or ship has been hit.

This comes just a day after North Korea threatened to sink Japan with nuclear weapons and reduce the US to ashes and darkness.

The Japanese government is holding a national security council meeting.

The South Korean military has just conducted a short-range ballistic missile firing drill in response.

South Korean President Moon Jae In says the country's national security council will also hold an emergency meeting.

Last month the North fired a missile over Japan. The latest launch is the sixth time it's happened. It also comes just under 2 weeks after Pyongyang conducted its 6th nuclear test.

In response, the United Nations Security Council issued fresh sanctions against the North this week. They include a cap on oil imports to the country, a ban on its textile exports, and a freeze on new work permits for its laborers abroad.


        ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月12日

UNSC approves new sanctions on N.Korea

The UN Security Council has unanimously approved a new sanctions resolution on North Korea, expanding the targets of sanctions.

The Security Council adopted the resolution on Monday, 8 days after North Korea carried out its 6th nuclear test.

The resolution caps the volume of annual crude oil exports to North Korea at the level of the past 12 months.

The draft resolution prepared by the United States called for an oil embargo and an asset-freeze targeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but the resolution contains neither measure.

The new resolution also bans North Korea's textile exports and prohibits other countries from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers. Both textile exports and the presence of North Korean workers abroad are key sources of revenue for Pyongyang.

The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said "North Korea has not yet passed the point of no return."

She said if North Korea gives up its nuclear program, the world will live in peace with it, but if not, the Security Council is saying "we will act to stop it ourselves."

Japan's UN Ambassador Koro Bessho said that if North Korea wants peace and security, it needs to demonstrate concrete measures for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula


     ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月11日

Total oil ban not to be included in UN resolution

A UN Security Council sanctions resolution to be put to a vote on Monday will place a ceiling on crude oil exports to North Korea instead of a complete oil embargo.

It remains unclear whether China and Russia will support the resolution. Both countries have veto rights and are cautious about strong sanctions.

The United States last week circulated a draft resolution among the Security Council member nations after the North's 6th nuclear test on September 3rd. It included a total ban on crude oil and gas exports to the North.

The US in the past had claimed that only a crude oil embargo will have enough impact to change North Korea's actions.

Oil supplying nations China and Russia strongly opposed. They say the impact an embargo will have on the people of North Korea will be too great.

UN diplomatic sources say the draft resolution may be altered at last minute. They are suggesting that US negotiations with China and Russia will continue behind the scenes.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月10日

Hurricane Irma, now a Category 3, heads to Florida

People in the US state of Florida are bracing themselves for Hurricane Irma. About 6.3 million people, a third of Florida's population, have been ordered to evacuate before the Category 3 storm closes in.

At 6 PM UTC on Saturday, American meteorologists said Hurricane Irma was near Cuba's coast, moving west-north-west at 15 kilometers per hour. It was packing winds of up to 205.2 kilometers per hour, with a central atmospheric pressure of 941 hectopascals.

Reuters reports that at least 22 people were killed by the storm on the Caribbean islands.

Meteorologists expect Irma to strengthen again as it approaches Florida. It could make landfall.

Local media outlets have shown footage of people preparing sandbags. They have also shown video clips of residents lining up at gas stations, attempting to secure enough fuel to flee.

Officials in the neighboring state of Georgia have also ordered residents in some areas to evacuate. The hurricane is expected to head north after hitting Florida.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月8日

M8.2 quake off south Mexico

At least 6 people are dead as tremors continue to rock Mexico after a massive earthquake struck off the southern coast of the country. It happened late Thursday.
Japan's meteorological agency says the quake measured 8.2.

The US geological survey reports the initial quake's epicenter was about 120 kilometers off the southwest tip of the country, near the border with Guatemala.

It says it struck at a depth of about 70 kilometers. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is issuing a tsunami threat for the region. It says waves reaching more than 3 meters are possible for some parts of the Mexican coast. Tsunami waves up to 1 meter have already been observed.

Local TV footage shows buildings shaking.
There are reports that several buildings are severely damaged in the south of the country.
NHK reached a hotel worker in a city close to the epicenter who described the tremors. He said "It was strong. It felt very, very strong. Thank God the electricity didn't cut out. People are afraid there might be more earthquakes."

Several hundred kilometers away people reportedly fled from buildings in the Mexican capital. Windows were reportedly broken at the airport there and power was out in several neighborhoods. This is apparently the largest quake to hit Mexico City since 1985, when a Magnitude 8.1 quake killed thousands of people.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月7日

Abe, Putin agree N.Korea poses grave threat

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed that North Korea's nuclear tests pose a grave threat to peace and stability in the region.

Abe and Putin spoke at a joint news conference after meeting on Thursday on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, in Russia's Far East.

Abe said they agreed that North Korea's nuclear tests were a major challenge to the global non-proliferation regime.

He said Japan condemned the North's ballistic missile launches and the 6th nuclear test in the strongest terms.

He warned that North Korea will have "no bright future" if it continues on its current course, and said Pyongyang needs to understand this and change its policy.

Abe said that he and Putin agreed to work closely on North Korean issues at the UN Security Council, and on other occasions.

Putin agreed that North Korea poses a major threat to peace and stability in the region.

He stressed that North Korean issues, especially the nuclear problem, can only be resolved by political and diplomatic means. He said it is important to reduce tensions first, and then hold dialogue between all the relevant countries.

Putin said this approach is outlined in a roadmap that Russia and China have proposed as a way of bringing a phased resolution to the crisis.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・


2017年9月5日

Usain Bolt attends children's race in Kyoto

The world's fastest sprinter Usain Bolt has enjoyed watching a children's race in Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital.

The Jamaican, who holds the world record of 9.58 seconds in the men's 100 meter race, retired from competition after the World Championship in London last month.

Bolt gave tips on running to the children at an event in the traditional Gion district on Tuesday.

Spectators cheered as he struck his signature "archer" pose with traditional female entertainers called "maiko".

Bolt said it is his first visit to Kyoto and that he wants to visit the city's wonderful temples.

 
       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年9月3日

Princess Mako says she is happy

Japan's Princess Mako is getting engaged to a college friend, Kei Komuro. Plans for the engagement were formally announced on Sunday by Japan's Imperial Household Agency, setting off what is likely to be a year-long process before the couple marries.

In a news conference, Princess Mako said, "Today, I have received permission from the Emperor. I am very happy that we are getting engaged."

Komuro said, "Together we would like to make a home where we can always be ourselves and live in peace."

The couple smiled at each other as they answered questions from reporters.
The formal announcement was expected in early July but was delayed after a rain disaster struck western Japan.

Princess Mako is the eldest child of Prince and Princess Akishino, and the oldest grandchild of Emperor Akihito. The 25-year-old is currently pursuing a doctorate and works as a museum researcher.

Komuro is also 25 years old. He works as a paralegal and is studying business law at graduate school. The couple met about 5 years ago while studying at the same university in Tokyo.


    ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

N.Korea: 'Hydrogen bomb' test a success

North Korea's state-run Korean Central Television announced at 3:00 PM, local time, on Sunday that the country had conducted its 6th nuclear test. It said the test was for a hydrogen bomb that can be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile, and it was successful.

It added that the test was the most powerful so far and the results have boosted the bomb's reliability.

The announcement also said the test was perfect and it has significantly improved the precision of the country's nuclear warheads and shown their dependability.

It said the test is a meaningful step in achieving the country's goal of the completion of nuclear armament.

The previous test was carried out last September. It's the first time the North has conducted a nuclear test for the 2nd year in a row.


     ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

S.Korean media reports on possible nuclear test

South Korean media are reporting North Korea may have carried out an underground nuclear test.

If confirmed, it would be the country's 6thnuclear test.

Yonhap news agency is quoting a South Korean government official who says seismologists detected tremors.

Analysts in Seoul are trying to determine if the cause was a nuclear explosion.

Instruments tracked the tremors to in Kilju county in the northeastern part of the country where all nuclear tests have been conducted.

North Korea has already conducted 5 nuclear tests there...in 2006, 2009, 2013, and two in 2016.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月30日

Abe, May likely to discuss N.Korea

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his British counterpart Theresa May began unofficial talks in Kyoto, following her arrival in Japan earlier on Wednesday.

In the meeting over dinner, they are believed to be discussing regional issues, including North Korea's test-firing of a ballistic missile that flew over Japan on Tuesday.

Earlier, Abe invited May to a tea ceremony in the ancient Japanese capital. This is May's first visit to Japan as prime minister.

During his stay in the UK in April, Abe was invited to the British prime minister's official Chequers residence.

The 2 leaders are to go to Tokyo later in the day to hold summit talks on Thursday.

They are expected to release a joint communique calling for stronger security cooperation and economic ties.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月29日

North Korea's missile lands off Japan's east

Pyongyang has fired a missile over Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.

Japan's government says it might have been an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

It split into three pieces before splashing into the Pacific Ocean Tuesday morning. There are no reports of damage.

South Korea's military says the missile reached an altitude of 550 kilometers and flew about 2,700 kilometers.

It suggests it was fired from close to the Pyongyang International Airport.

Tensions between North Korea and the US have been high, after the American president ramped up his rhetoric against the reclusive country.

On top of that, US and South Korean forces are conducting joint military exercises. They began last week and are scheduled to continue until Thursday.

Both countries have been stepping up readiness ahead of the North's National Foundation Day in early September. Experts say that the anniversary could mean more tests or launches.

This is the 5th time North Korea has flown a missile over Japan.

The Japanese government issued an emergency warning, calling on residents in Hokkaido to take shelter.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says North Korea's latest missile launch is an unprecedented, serious and grave threat for Japan.

He was speaking to reporters after a ministerial meeting of the National Security Council.

Abe said the Japanese government had closely tracked the missile's entire flight after it was launched early on Tuesday. He said the government had taken every imaginable measure to ensure the safety of Japanese citizens.

The prime minister said that the government lodged a strong protest to Pyongyang. He also said Japan will ask the UN Security Council to convene an emergency meeting, and call on the international community to put more pressure on the North.

Abe added that the government will do its utmost to guarantee the safety of Japanese citizens under a strong Japan-US alliance.


     ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月23日

Trump: Kim Jong Un 'starting to respect' US

US President Donald Trump has expressed hope that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take more positive moves to ease tension over Pyongyang's arms programs.

Trump said at a campaign rally in Phoenix in the western state of Arizona on Tuesday that he respects the fact that Kim is starting to respect the US. He also said that something positive can come about, but probably will not.

Last week, Trump welcomed Kim's reported remark that he would watch the conduct of the US a little longer. The remark was related to the North's plan to fire ballistic missiles toward waters around the US territory of Guam.

In Tuesday's speech, Trump also spoke about the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada. He has been calling for a thorough review of the pact.

Trump said he doesn't think the US can make a deal, and that his country will probably end NAFTA at some point.

The first round of talks to renegotiate the 3-nation agreement closed on Sunday. It highlighted differences between the US and the 2 countries. Mexico and Canada oppose major changes.

Also in the speech, Trump showed willingness to build a wall on the border with Mexico to stop the flow of illegal immigrants. He called on Congress to allow funding for the wall.


        ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

US Navy dismisses 7th Fleet commander

The US Navy has dismissed Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin as the commander of the US 7th Fleet based in Yokosuka, near Tokyo, following a series of collisions involving US naval vessels. Two of the accidents caused the deaths of sailors.

The US Pacific Fleet in Hawaii said on Tuesday that the dismissal was due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

It said Rear Admiral Phillip Sawyer would assume command immediately. He is to be promoted to Vice Admiral.

The Aegis destroyer USS John S. McCain of the 7th Fleet and an oil tanker collided in waters off Singapore on Monday, leaving 10 sailors missing.

The navy says rescuers have found human remains but have yet to identify them.

In June, a similar destroyer of the fleet, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a container ship off Japan, killing 7 sailors. Two more accidents took place in the Asia-Pacific region this year.

The US Navy has ordered a temporal halt to its fleet operations worldwide to confirm safety. The navy says it is closely examining training and maintenance work in the 7th Fleet.

Some people in the US believe that cuts in the defense budget are behind the accidents, as well as the increased workload of naval vessels, which have to respond to regional situations, such as North Korea's test-launches of ballistic missiles and China's increasing maritime activities. The navy will look into these concerns in its investigation.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月22日

Defense ministry eyes record budget for FY2018

Japan's Defense Ministry plans to request a record budget for the next fiscal year as North Korea continues its nuclear and missile programs.

The ministry will seek about 5.25 trillion yen, or around 48.2 billion dollars, for the year starting April 2018. That's up 2.5 percent from the budget for the current fiscal year.

An unspecified amount of the budget will be earmarked for the introduction of a new US-made missile defense system known as "Aegis Ashore." It is a land-based version of the Aegis system deployed on ships.

The ministry is also to request funds to acquire a new type of missile interceptor called "SM-3 Block IIA" for Aegis ships, and to develop advanced radar capable of detecting and tracking ballistic missiles.

This is in response to North Korea's repeated test-firing of missiles on a so-called "lofted" trajectory, in which a missile is launched to a higher altitude than normal.

The ministry also plans to build 2 escort ships and a submarine to beef up its capabilities to defend remote islands and waters around Japan, amid China's growing maritime activities.

It will also ask for financing to buy 6 state-of-the-art F-35A fighter jets and 4 Osprey transport aircraft.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月20日

Sagrada Familia church reportedly potential target

Some Spanish media outlets say perpetrators of the deadly terror attacks were planning to blow up multiple popular tourist spots in Barcelona, including the Sagrada Familia church.

Vehicles plowed into pedestrians in Barcelona and the coastal town of Cambrils last week. The attacks left 14 people dead and more than 120 others wounded.

Some Spanish media reports quote investigative sources as saying the perpetrators were a group of 12 youths, mainly Moroccans.

Police found a large number of gas canisters and other materials at a home in the town of Alcanar, some 200 kilometers from Barcelona.

An explosion occurred at the house on the day before the Barcelona attack. Police suspect the perpetrators hastily carried out the vehicle attacks after they mistakenly caused the blast while preparing explosive devices.

Police are interrogating 4 suspects on suspicion of planning the large-scale terror attack. They are also looking for the main suspect who drove the van in Barcelona.

The Islamic State group issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attacks.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月19日

Trump's strategist Bannon fired

The White House has announced that President Donald Trump fired his chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Bannon wielded strong influence in the Trump administration. And he has been described as Trump's closest aide or behind-the-scenes fixer.

Bannon was chief executive of Donald Trump's presidential campaign. He was even called one of the key players in Trump's victory.

Bannon upheld measures against illegal immigrants. His conservative hardline policy has been reported to have created conflicts with President Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

Earlier this month, a clash between white supremacists and opponents led to a death and injuries in the state of Virginia. The incident triggered calls for the dismissal of Bannon for his white supremacist tone.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月15日

Kim Jong Un briefed on Guam missile plan

North Korea says its leader Kim Jong Un has been briefed of his military's plan to fire missiles near Guam. But he reportedly said he would watch the conduct of the United States a little longer before making a decision.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported on Tuesday that Kim inspected the Command of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army on Monday.

State-run TV aired photos of Kim being briefed by the commanding general. It also showed a map highlighting what appears to be the missile flight path, with a line stretching from the Korean Peninsula over Japan to the US Pacific territory of Guam.

Maps of Japan, South Korea and the US are seen on a wall, while a satellite photo of what appears to be a US base in Guam is displayed on a monitor.

The report says Kim examined the launch plan, and told the Strategic Force to be ready for an order at any moment.

However, it also quoted the North Korean leader as saying that he "would watch a little more the foolish conduct" of the Americans before making a decision.

Kim reportedly said that in order to defuse tensions and prevent a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula, the United States should choose the proper option first and show it through action.

Pyongyang is believed to be sending a warning to the United States, which plans to start joint military drills with South Korea on August 21st.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月15日

Japan marks 72 years since end of WWII

The people of Japan will commemorate 72 years since the end of World War Two on Tuesday.

About 5,700 people, including bereaved relatives, are expected to attend a government-sponsored memorial service in Tokyo to remember the roughly 3.1 million Japanese who lost their lives in the war.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will give a speech. At noon, participants will observe a minute of silence.

Following an address by the Emperor, participants will lay chrysanthemum flowers on an altar.

78 percent of bereaved relatives who plan to attend the event are 70 years of age or older.

A total of 6 widows who lost their husbands in the war will attend the ceremony, the fewest ever.

The oldest widow to attend is 101. Her husband died during a battle in Okinawa. She plans to attend the service along with her family.

The government has invited 123 youth under the age of 18 years old from around the country to attend the ceremony. The aim is to pass on experiences of the war to future generations.

Bereaved relatives and local governments will also hold commemorative events across the nation to pay tribute to the war dead and promote peace.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月12日

Japan deploys missile interceptors

Japanese defense authorities have deployed missile interceptors in western parts of the country. The move follows North Korea's threat to fire missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam.

North Korea says its ballistic missiles will fly over the 3 Japanese prefectures of Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi before landing in waters off Guam. Pyongyang says it will complete drafting its launch plan by the middle of this month.

Japan's Air Self-Defense Force units in charge of the PAC3 interceptor system arrived on Saturday in the 3 prefectures and nearby Ehime Prefecture.

The Self-Defense Forces have stepped up round-the-clock monitoring of North Korean moves.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force has sent a ship to the Sea of Japan. The destroyer is equipped with the Aegis advanced radar system to track ballistic missiles.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月10日

N.Korea warns US of plan for missiles to Guam

North Korea has warned the United States that it will complete its plan by mid-August to fire ballistic missiles toward waters off Guam.

The Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army on Wednesday issued a spokesperson's statement that it is considering implementing the plan.

On Thursday, the commander of the Force announced concrete details of the plan via the state-run media.

He said the Force is considering firing 4 Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles simultaneously. He said they will travel over Japan's prefectures of Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi before falling into waters 30 to 40 kilometers off Guam.

He said the trajectories will travel a distance of 3,356.7 kilometers, taking 1,065 seconds.

The commander added the Force will wait for an order from leader Kim Jong Un after reporting the completed plan by the middle of this month.

US and South Korean forces plan to conduct annual joint drills in South Korea from August 21st.

A sense of alert is growing in the international community over possible test-launches of missiles by the North coinciding with the drills.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月9日

Nagasaki remembers the victims

Nagasaki marks the 72nd anniversary of the US atomic bombing. People across the city are offering prayers for the dead and sharing their wishes for peace.

Praying at the Peace Park near Ground Zero, a 70-year-old survivor said, "We should never forget the day of the atomic bombing. These efforts are essential to protect world peace."

An elementary school girl said, "I prayed for a world without nuclear weapons. I want to let people know how precious peace is."

An 88 year-old man said he places letters in his parents' grave every year. He said, "9 of my family members were killed by the bomb. I was the only one that survived. Nuclear weapons must never be used again."

At a corner near Ground Zero, about 100 teenagers formed a human chain. They are urging the Japanese government to join the international treaty banning nuclear arms.

One teenage girl participant said, "I am determined that young people like myself must work hard to prevent the tragedy fading from people's memories."

At the symbolic Urakami Cathedral, about 500 meters from Ground Zero, Christians held a Mass offering prayers.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月8日

Wang: 'Disappointed' over S. China Sea issue

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi says Japan's handling of the South China Sea issue was behind his expression of "disappointment" with Japan's new foreign minister.

At a news conference in Manila on Monday, Wang told reporters that they should know what made China disappointed, if they read a joint statement released by the foreign ministers of Japan, the US and Australia.

The statement expresses grave concern over maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

Wang said the biggest achievement made during the series of meetings was the fact that the situation in the South China Sea has stabilized, thanks to efforts by China and ASEAN members.
He indicated that outside parties, such as Japan and the US, were complicating matters.

Wang, however, signaled a willingness to build favorable ties with Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono. He said he felt that Kono was a person he could get along with, when the 2 discussed their diplomatic ideals.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月5日

US representative to attend Hiroshima ceremony

The US government is to send its representative to a ceremony in Hiroshima to remember the 1945 US atomic bombing of the city for the 8th consecutive year.

The charge d'affaires ad interim at the US Embassy in Japan is among the foreign guests who will attend the annual ceremony on Sunday. The list of guests was released by the municipal government.

Hiroshima officials say 80 countries and the European Union will send their ambassadors or officials to the ceremony at Peace Memorial Park. The number of countries is down 11 from last year, but is still the third largest ever.

The United States sent its representative to the ceremony for 7 consecutive years during the administration of Barack Obama.

Ambassadors from nuclear powers including Britain, France, and Russia will also attend. An envoy of China is expected to be absent.

Foreign guests are to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on Saturday and hear the accounts of atomic bombing survivors, or hibakusha, at events hosted by the municipal government.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年8月3日

US test-fires ICBM

The US military has test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile in an apparent show of deterrence against North Korea.

The Air Force said on Wednesday that it successfully fired an unarmed Minuteman 3 missile at 2:10 AM that day from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

It said the missile sent a re-entry vehicle about 6,700 kilometers across the Pacific to a target area at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The Air Force said it was the 4th test of an ICBM this year and these are regularly conducted to show the effectiveness, readiness, and accuracy of the weapons system. They say the latest test is not a countermeasure against North Korea's 2 test-launches of ballistic missiles last month.

But an Air Force official did say the test-launch shows US readiness to defend the nation and its allies, and deter an attack at any time, apparently with North Korea in mind.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

Abe reshuffles Cabinet

Japan's prime minister has officially released the lineup of his new Cabinet.
And Shinzo Abe is making an overhaul, replacing more than half of his ministers.

His cabinet has faced a series of scandals and falling poll numbers. Abe is now turning to some political veterans for help.

One familiar face Abe brought back is Itsunori Onodera. He will become the Defense Minister. Onodera held the position for almost 2 years in the cabinet Abe put together when he returned to power in 2012.

His appointment is seen as an effort to prop up the Defense Ministry. It has been hit by a major cover-up scandal that forced Tomomi Inada to step down as minister last week.

Abe has enlisted Taro Kono as Foreign Minister. He is a former National Public Safety Commission Chairperson.
Kono has replaced Fumio Kishida who has moved into a major policy role inside the Liberal Democratic Party.

Abe has named Seiko Noda as his new Internal Affairs and Communications Minister. Noda had planned to challenge Abe in the LDP's leadership race 2 years ago and appeared to be distancing herself from him.
The move is seen as an effort by Abe to include a broader range of party members.

Some key ministers are keeping their jobs including the finance and economy ministers and the Chief Cabinet Secretary.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年7月31日

Nominating Osaka ancient tombs for World Heritage

Japan will nominate a group of ancient burial mounds in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, for inscription on UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List.

A council for the Cultural Affairs Agency made the decision on Monday.

The Mozu-Furuichi tumulus clusters consist of 49 mounds built between the late 4th century and the late 5th century.

Experts say they represent how royal authority developed in the Japanese archipelago.

Among them, a keyhole-shaped mound believed to be for an Emperor, is one of the world's largest tombs, measuring 486 meters in length.

Around it are circular and square mounds of various sizes and forms, depending on the rank of the buried person.

The agency says the monuments have universal value.

The government plans to submit a provisional nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre by the end of September.

The World Heritage Committee is expected to discuss in 2019 whether to put the group of mounds on the list.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

Former school operator head arrested

The former head of a school operator at the center of a controversial state land deal has been arrested.
Yasunori Kagoike came into the spotlight months earlier over the deal as well as his links to the prime minister.
Prosecutors have detained Kagoike on a separate but related charge.

They suspect Kagoike and his wife Junko defrauded the government for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
They believe the couple inflated the estimated costs of building a school in order to receive more subsidies.

Kagoike had already been given a discount of more than 80% of the appraisal cost of this land in the western prefecture of Osaka.
The school was supposed to open there until the deal focused more and more scrutiny on him.
Investigators are still expected to look into it.

Opposition lawmakers suspect it was struck because of links to the Prime Minister.

His wife Akie was honorary principal of the planned school until the scrutiny grew and she distanced herself from it.

Shinzo Abe flatly denies playing any role in the land transaction.


        ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年7月29日

N. Korea announces ICBM successful launch

North Korea says the missile it launched on Friday night was an intercontinental ballistic missile.

State media said Saturday morning the country had successfully achieved a second test firing of a Hwasong-14 ICBM. Leader Kim Jong Un reportedly observed the launch.

The report says the missile reached an altitude of 3,724.9 kilometers and flew a distance of 998 kilometers. The flight took 47 minutes and 12 seconds.

The missile was fired from Mupyong-ri in Jagang Province in the north of the country around 11:41 PM Friday, toward the Sea of Japan. It came down in waters inside Japan's exclusive economic zone.

The North claimed it had launched a Hwasong-14 missile on July 4th.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年7月28日

Abe accepts Inada's resignation

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced his acceptance of Defense Minister Tomomi Inada's resignation. He offered an apology to the Japanese people.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Abe said Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will also serve as Defense Minister, replacing Inada. He said Japan cannot allow any gaps in handling its security situation.

Earlier, Abe met with Inada to discuss the results of the Defense Ministry's internal probe into the alleged mishandling of activity logs of Japan' peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

Abe said Inada handed him a letter of resignation and told him she would like to take responsibility as defense chief.

Abe said he accepted Inada's offer to step down in consideration of her strong will to do so.

Abe added that the responsibility for appointing ministers lies completely with him. He said he is aware of the need to take seriously the harsh criticisms leveled against his ministers by the public. He said he wants to offer a heartfelt apology.

Abe vowed to do his utmost to maintain vigilance and ensure the safety of the Japanese public in the face of deepening threats from North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.


       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年7月24日

Princess Diana remembered by her sons

Britain's Prince William and Prince Harry have shared memories of their mother, Princess Diana ahead of the 20th anniversary of her death next month.

The former Princess of Wales died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 at the age of 36.

The princes will appear in a TV documentary about their mother produced by British broadcaster ITV, scheduled to air on Monday.

In one interview, Prince William disclosed that he and his brother last exchanged words with their mother in a phone call made several hours before the accident.
He said he and Harry wanted to quickly say goodbye and go back to playing with their cousins.

He said if he had known what was going to happen he would not have been so blase about it. He added that the phone call sticks in his mind, quite heavily.

Prince Harry also reflected on the incident, calling it incredibly hard. But he also remembered his mother as fun-loving, saying he can still hear her laughter in his head.

The princes recalled the love she showed them. Prince Harry said that even if she was on the other side of the room he could feel it.

The two princes have begun to speak about the death of their mother since this year. They are calling for support and assistance for people suffering from mental illness, based on their own experience of losing their mother.


         ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年7月22日

US to ban travel to N.Korea

The US government says it will ban American citizens from traveling to North Korea, following the death of university student Otto Warmbier last month.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement on Friday that a geographical travel restriction will be implemented for the North, due to concerns over the serious risk of long-term detention.

The ban comes after Warmbier, who had been detained in the North for more than a year, was brought home in a coma and died less than a week later. He had traveled to North Korea for sightseeing.

The State Department says the restriction would go into effect 30 days after a notice is published in the Federal Register.

But it also says individuals seeking to travel to the North for certain limited humanitarian and other purposes may apply to the department for a special passport.

The State Department had been considering the ban to prevent Pyongyang from detaining Americans to use as bargaining chips.

Currently there are three Americans being detained by North Korea, and the US government is demanding their release.


         ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年7月21日

Hakuho renews winning record

In professional sumo, Yokozuna grand champion Hakuho now stands alone on top of the all-time wins list with 1048.

Hakuho battled Ozeki champion Takayasu on day 13 of the Nagoya tournament.

The Yokozuna pushed down his opponent, becoming the most winning sumo wrestler in history.

Hakuho now has one more win than former Ozeki Champion Kaio. The Mongolian champion already holds many records including 38 tournament victories.


      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年7月19日

Officials decided to keep logs quiet

NHK has new information on a scandal that has rocked Japan's defense establishment. Sources close to the Defense Ministry say that top officials decided not to disclose daily logs of the Ground Self-Defense Force's peacekeeping activities in South Sudan.

Ministry officials had maintained the logs had been destroyed, but they later announced that they found the records stored in personal computers at its command.

The sources say Administrative Vice Defense Minister Tetsuro Kuroe, Ground Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff, General Toshiya Okabe, and other senior officials held a meeting on February 15th to discuss how to deal with the logs.

The sources say the officials decided they do not need to disclose the logs because the records are personal data stored by GSDF officers and it is unclear whether the logs are documents that should be made public.

The sources also say Kuroe and Okabe attended a separate meeting on the same day at the defense minister's office. Defense chief Tomomi Inada was among the attendees.

The sources say Inada asked what the officials have done to try to locate the logs after they received an information disclosure request.

Inada denied on Wednesday media reports that she decided not to disclose the daily logs.

Defense ministry officials have been conducting a special investigation into the matter since March. They plan to present a report before the end of July.


        ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

2017年7月18日

Japan's legendary physician Hinohara dies at 105

Heat wave continues to hit wide areas of Japan

Intense hot weather continued to hit many parts of Japan on Monday.

Temperatures rose to 37.1 degrees Celsius in the city of Tatebayashi in Gunma Prefecture, and reached 36.8 degrees in Hatoyama Town in Saitama Prefecture.

The mercury rose to 36.2 degrees in Hita City, Oita Prefecture, which was hit by torrential rain recently. Central Tokyo saw its temperatures reach 35 degrees.

The Meteorological Agency forecasts that the heat wave will continue on Tuesday. It urges people to keep hydrated and use air conditioners to prevent heatstroke.

NHK has found that at least 613 people across Japan were treated for symptoms of heatstroke on Monday. Three of them are in critical condition.
     

      ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

Floats parade in Gion Festival in Kyoto

Spectators, including many tourists, enjoyed a parade of colorfully decorated floats at the annual Gion Festival in Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto on Monday.

A total of 23 floats were paraded through the city. It's a highlight of the month-long summer festival.

The procession began when a child wearing an ancient costume and riding on the lead float cut a sacred rope.

Spectators applauded when the floats had to make right-angle turns. Groups of residents pulling the floats laid bamboo under the wheels to slide and turn them around.

About 220,000 people gathered along the route to see the procession.

Ten more floats will take to the streets on August 24th.



       ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・